Skip to comments.G-8 Precipice - Itís a different world.
Posted on 06/08/2007 11:27:47 PM PDT by neverdem
I wish we had a majority of politicians willing to do this.
That's always been one of my favorites, thanks
—great piece by VDH-—better repost it when everybody is awake-—
It's nobody's fault. It's under nobody's control. It's the Information Age. Suddenly the world is small. We rub shoulders every day with Nigerians, Chinese, and Indonesians. Everyone is only an email or a phone call away. We feel the pressures. We cannot avoid cultural overlap.
The best we can do is (1) try to control our political and economic leaders and make them serve our best interests and (2) try to figure out the best and safest place, literally and figuratively, for ourselves and our families to be in this increasingly dangerous world.
And most of all--fight the destruction of our nation from within. Note tagline.
I believe you’re right about the upheaval’s source—I’m a big fan of The Third Wave by Toeffler (?)—a book I read after hearing Newt Gingrich talk about it on Firing Line over 10 years ago—a great overview of how the world undergoes transformations.
Let me know if you want in or out.
Links: FR Index of his articles: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=victordavishanson
His website: http://victorhanson.com/
NRO archive: http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson-archive.asp
...”and the United States will do just fine,”...
Sorry, I don’t think so. Until we return to “one nation, under God,”, we will be in turmoil.
Most historians that are honest with themselves see that we are now living in 1937 or 1914. History does indeed repeat itself. And to be brutally honest, wars have a way of sorting it all out. Nobody ever wants one, but in truth, we can learn the lessons of history apparently no other way than to have a bunch of small ones and a couple of large ones every century.
Another big one is coming IMO, and maybe it will be Europe as I think, or maybe it will be the Middle East (Israel vs. ?), I don’t really know, but it is just around the corner.
The best we can do at this point is to pray, and keep our powder dry.
One characteristic of a Golden Age is that few of its inhabitants recognize that they are in it; that it appears "Golden" only by contrast to the times that succeed. I have suggested elsewhere that the time between the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of militant Islam in Europe might be considered such an age, and that the social critics that have been so insistent during that period that the last barrier between the disagreeable status quo and their imagined socialist utopia is a belligerent and out-of-control United States may end up regretting what they wished for.
There are, to be sure, certain conservative utopianists who bitterly regret a time that never really was. But that does not make Golden Ages entirely illusory, nor does it make the loss any less bitter when they are left behind.
The Left in the United States will be the very last to come around to this point of view precisely because it is the most insulated from its visible consequences. If the upshot of resistance to an imaginary American "tyranny" in Europe is a genuine Islamic one coupled with external threats from a renascent Russia and China, then the imaginary future utopia begins most to resemble the Bad Old Days in fact. Those most capable of maintaining that fond imagination will be last to see this, and that is the situation with the American Left, IMHO.
It is they, however, who remain influential over policies that will end up in disengaging the United States from pursuit of "unilateral" activities that are, at the least, ongoing, in favor of collective security activities under NATO and the UN that exist only in the imagination. A comparison of Iraq with Darfur is instructive here, as is the contrast between the UN and U.S. approaches to either one. And again, it is the domestic Left that will be most insulated from the negative results and most capable of deflecting the ensuing blame.
I'm not sure it's a problem in search of a solution, actually, more one of those historic pendula that tends to swat people going by. The generation that learned the Holocaust "never again" lesson, for example, turned out not to be the one that needed it - that generation seems about to re-learn it. The same applies for the one that learned that Hitlers are not to be tolerated. In each of these, as in the one living through the Athenian or the Roman or the British Golden Ages, there is a large component of the population with an attractive alternate explanation for the hard-learned lessons that is easier, more attractive, less demanding. And fatal.
Well, we can’t say that we didn’t have our own Cassandra to warn us in very clear terms what we’re getting ourselves into.
Bumping. One of VDH’s better columns, of late.